Thread: Rural high angle rescue
02-13-2011, 09:11 PM #1
Rural high angle rescue
Well maybe not so much in the thought of your team and you making a rescue of some hiker or climber, but more so a team member having to get you or the other way around off a cliff.
We teach our rescue personal in my county how to rappel off a building and how to anchor to a man made object, but have not stopped to think that we have one of the more popular ice climbing spots in the country (the Narrows). Also just south of that there is a very popular rock climbing area (Ralph Stover). I have wondered why the county doesnt offer a class on high angle rescue using nothing but your surrounding for anchors and friction, so on and so on... Lets face it, how many rescue companies can look at them self honestly and say that when in a jam they would have thought about jamming a rock into a crack on a cliff wall to wrap for an anchor, or would they be waiting for better weather (for a bird) and or another team to have reached you. Granted alot of us may not have to worry about this due to your local not having a terrain such as this, but if you do have a local like this has this been something that has been considered, or is it going to be something to worry about after the fact?
P.S, this was thought about after I had taken my wife out today for some rock climbing and she asked how she would belay me while lead climbing. She was worried that if I was to fall that she would be going for a ride as well seeing that I am heavyer then her. So I showed her how to add a munter to the belay line at her anchor in the wall in conjunction with her using a belay device (an ATC). That lead into how to use Cams and Nuts/Hexs for anchors. She had asked if they teach this at fire school, I told her no and she had a little laugh not understanding why not seeing that there are so many rock/ice climbers in our county..... I had no good answer for her.
The pic is of the wife learning how to set an anchor up on a wall and how to manage friction ( we practiced on a low grade slope).
02-14-2011, 10:23 AM #2
- Join Date
- Oct 2010
just curious, Why put a munter in front of the ATC? Just attatch the ATC to the anchor instead of her harness. I imagine it would be rather difficult to manage the rope thru both devices.
02-14-2011, 10:52 AM #3
Again many ways of getting this done, but for what her skill level is, and not having her get confused too much where she loses interest this was fast and easy for her to follow. Hope this kind of answers the question. You can say it was a way to have her in a comfort level she likes.
02-14-2011, 10:54 AM #4
Oh sorry man, as for the rope going thru both devices.. it is surprisinly easy going down with the load.
02-14-2011, 10:59 AM #5
Question for you Dylan, I am a climber, I don't lead trad but I cat set up a solid top rope anchor. In my city we have a lot of climbing areas but we don't carry any nuts or cams, almost every time we can find solid trees or boulders to anchor to. When you set up a rescue anchor using nuts and cams is the anchor any different from a top rope anchor (Strong, equalized, redundant, efficient, and non extending. minimum of 3 placements. etc...)
02-14-2011, 11:12 AM #6
Hey Golzy, hope all has been well.
No different, I guess in my case for the non-extending part I might (not sure) do different then most. I place restricting knots in a self equlizing anchor (when need be). This allows for the anchor to move with the load like normal but will only move a certin distance each direction. This minimizes the amount of shock load on the other anchor points in the case of a blow out. I have a pic of it on my camra but the wife has it with her at work right now, I will put it up later. I guess other then that you may have to place an extra anchor point or two in the case that you are using smaller sized cams or nuts.
02-14-2011, 11:13 AM #7
Golzy, are you close to Philly? Looking for a diffrent good climbing spot to visit.
02-14-2011, 03:05 PM #8
Here is the pic I was talking about with the self equlizing anchor with the restricting knots.
02-14-2011, 06:40 PM #9
Here's a couple pdfs with some good rock anchor information similar to that pictured:
http://www.chauvinguides.com/Anchoring.PDFMy opinions posted here are my own and not representative of my employer or my IAFF local.
02-14-2011, 08:39 PM #10
02-16-2011, 06:28 PM #11
- Join Date
- Jan 2000
- Somewhere in the Backcountry...
I suspect there may be several factors affecting why you aren't seeing people teaching the use of artificial anchors.
The first is the most obvious - most rescuers do not have the need to build complex anchors when they can wrap a bunch of webbing around some big trees or rocks and go. I'll run 150' of rope back to some bomber anchor before fiddling with a bunch of cams.
I'd guess liability is probably another issue. I may be missing something but I don't recall seeing many cams or other passive pro with the NFPA G ratings so many depts insist on.
Finally, I'd be very careful about relying on rescuers to build reliable anchors as you noted. They simply do not get enough experience. Building bombproof anchors for rescue loads is a step up from building your standard rock climbing belay anchor. Placing pro properly takes lots of practice to be proficient and unless someone is doing lots of climbing or practicing, they are not getting enough practical experience. Clipping bolts does not count! Many rock climbers are sport climbers and have little or no experience placing gear.
Within my unit we have folks with very extensive experience with rock (and snow/ice) anchors and even then, it is only the most experienced rescuers that are called on to build these types of anchors on real rescues. We still have pitons in our tech rock kits! Talk about old school skills.
Building anchors with ice screws, bollards, pickets, deadmen, and similar set-ups in the winter is also a challenge.
Very few rescues call for these kinds of skills but if you operate in an area where you may be called on for that kind of skill it is worth having.
02-16-2011, 06:31 PM #12
- Join Date
- Feb 2000
It seems that if you have some active ice climbing and rock climbing areas, there would be local climbers with the skills to be able to handle a rescue if need be. Maybe you could develop a call list or talk to a local climbing shop to see if there is an semi-formal or formal rescue team. I recall when I climbed in the Gunks, we had a call-round list for that.
I have been climbing trad for years and it takes a good full season of leading under a watchful eye to be able to place solid protection for a fall, let alone the forces that might exist for a rescue. I think you would be hard pressed to train folks who don't climb all the time to safely set up an anchor using cams, chocks, hexes, etc.
I don't know the area but unless it has long multi-pitch routes, you should be able to find BFT or BFR anchors on top of the pitch to anchor to and use. It isn't uncommon to use one or two ropes to create the anchors system. If you do have longer routes, see if you can get a 600' or 1200' spool like they use out here in the west.
Regarding your wife's belay set up, it is great to expose her to a multiple options to build her skill set but my wife weighs 120 pounds and she belays me at 190 pounds with just an ATC if we are top roping. It looks like she is using a Trango Piu?? There is enough friction in the running line if the rope is running up to the top and back down to the belayer.
If doing multi-pitch routes, the anchor into the wall carries the load. I always get worried about having things too complicated. The more you have to manage, the more you can be looking at or working on at the wrong time. But maybe that's just me. I don't have a very big life insurance policy so she still catches me every time.
Oops, looks like we had a two similar answers at once. Must be something in the water.
Last edited by FEMADog; 02-16-2011 at 09:44 PM.
02-16-2011, 08:22 PM #13
Pitons!! Now thats something you will not see in most classes (fire side anyway). I seemed to really have made myself look stuck on using Cams as the only anchoring option.... I guess what I am trying to get at is getting off the idea of a perfect anchor scenario. As for crew members not having enough time on doing some of these skills, I can completely understand that. The only thing I guess is my personal pet peev about saying that is the worry that it will allow room for lazyness ( not sure if lazyness is what I really want to call it but close enough I guess ). Oh and I understand that everyone is not paid so they are not going to make this there life to know "it all", so I hope I'm not coming off radical... not my intent.
Points well made thou above.
02-18-2011, 12:12 AM #14
02-18-2011, 08:16 PM #15
hey golzy, I was unable for some reason to show mine ( hell if I know im not a computer guy). Stickboy has the links to show how to set it up. Mine was ran to three diffrent Cams. I will try again to get the pic of mine up again, but it is nothing different then what you will see on the links.
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